SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - After years of drought, fire season is here with a vengeance.
One devastating fire a year ago left a North Bay family with nothing. It happened on July 4th, 2014. But now that family has a whole new life.
A rooster crowing is the unmistakable sound of life in the country. It's a life that Liza Butorac and her family had before, and now have once again. "We have a very large garden. We got pumpkins," said Butorac of her rustic property.
She and her kids, John and Emily, and their father Hawk moved to the rural land in Birds Landing near Fairfield two months after they lost everything. "We had like half an acre, and this is an acre and a half, so it's a lot bigger."
Last July 4th, while the family was out watching fireworks, disaster struck their Collinsville neighborhood. It destroyed eight homes, including Butorac's, and though no one was hurt, pets were lost.
Their goat Billie, still has unhealed injuries. "It's taken a whole year and they're not even completely healed. Billie isn't completely healed. We've had to treat him for pneumonia once or twice this year," said Butorac.
Their home was uninsured. But friends, family, and the community stepped up to help. "We literally lost everything. In 15 minutes, it was all gone. And in like a matter of months, it was like it was all given back to us."
Two months after the fire, the Birds Landing home fell in their lap. "It's worth everything to us. You know, now where we're at. It's just amazing."
It would be easy to look at the anniversary of the fire, July 4th, as a somber day. But this family is turning that idea on its head, holding a big very special party here. "As soon as we were here, I was walking around, and thought this is the perfect spot for us to get married.
Butorac and her partner Hawk, have been together for 17 years, but they've never gotten married. "What better way to have a better anniversary than this sad day. So we are getting married on the 4th of July here," explained a joyful Butorac.
It will be an Independence Day that will surely outshine the events of last year.